Thursday, January 17, 2013

"Les Misérables" by Victor Hugo audio production by Focus on the Family Radio Theatre

I grew up in the era before television and when weekly night time serial dramas on the radio were highlights of the week. It was exciting to sit beside a radio listening to The Green Hornet, The Shadow, and Gangbusters.  Exciting! Drama!

Listening to Les Misérables performed by Focus on the Family Radio Theatre brought back the "art of listening creatively."  We are so accustomed today of seeing as well as hearing, that our attention actually is not fully engaged in the details of the sounds of footsteps, water splashing,  doors shutting, banging, etc.  In this superbly produced audio version of  Les Misérables you are fully engaged.  You have to mentally visualize the excitement, the pain, the intrigue, the doubt.  There are no facial expressions or stage sets to aid in your understanding of the story. And what a story this is.....

The time frame is roughly that of 1815-1830 and the historical setting in France is that of the June Rebellion.  The letter of the law was cruel and unjust in France during that time.  And it is in that social environment that a young Jean Valjean is sent to prison for stealing a loaf of bread, and he is in prison for 19 years. The story examines law vs. justice and mercy or  grace on a social standing.  But it is also a story of redemption and examines social redemption as well as personal redemption through the grace of God.

I had heard of the story of Les Misérables but had never read the book nor seen a drama production of it.  So I can not speak to the accuracy of the audio presentation by Focus on the Family Radio Theatre as it relates to Victor Hugo's book.  I can, however, attest to the fine quality of this production, the sound effects, the dramatization of actors, the flow of the story from its beginning to its climax. I highly recommend this audio presentation to families.  The only restraint I have is that parents listen to it first prior to having their children listen to best determine at what age they prefer to have their children listen to it.  That period of French history was cruel and violent and this story presents the period well.
A bit of information about that time and the story:  Read some good information on the story.
DISCLOSURE:  I was provided a complimentary copy of Les Misérables by Tyndale Publishers on behalf of Focus on the Family Radio Theatre for the purpose of rending my honest opinion. There was no obligation to give a positive review.

1 comment:

  1. I saw this for review from Tyndale as well. I seriously considered requesting it. But I decided that my love for the musical would hamper my enjoyment of the audio drama because I'd try to add the songs instead of enjoying the book. I've read the book, and it is AWESOME!


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